Gulag Inmates: Numbers for each Nationality.

Discussion in 'Soviet' started by Owen, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Are there any figures for Gulag inmates by country of origin?
    Not doing very well at finding anything with Google.
  2. General Staff

    General Staff Junior Member

  3. ozjohn39

    ozjohn39 Senior Member


    One small anecdote on the 'Gulags'. The Russians took every SS officer and OR and took them to Wrangell Island, off the north coast of Siberia, not far west of the Bering Strait. Not one came home.

    Unfortunatley, there is no high resolution pics on Google earth yet, but the camp was on the south coast, not far west of the eastern end of the island.

    Do a google on Magadan/Kolyma Hwy ("The Highway of Bones"), etc and check that area, you will see the remains, often burnt out LARGE barracks, near railway lines, 'highways', forestry camps and river gold dredging sites.



    Some 100s of American and probably allied soldiers from teh Korean War ended up in the Siberian Gulags, none came home.
  4. laufer

    laufer Senior Member

    "Gulag: A History" by Anne Applebaum.
    From Publishers Weekly:
    Nearly 30 million prisoners passed through the Soviet Union's labor camps in their more than 60 years of operation. This remarkable volume, the first fully documented history of the gulag, describes how, largely under Stalin's watch, a regulated, centralized system of prison labor-unprecedented in scope-gradually arose out of the chaos of the Russian Revolution. Fueled by waves of capricious arrests, this prison labor came to underpin the Soviet economy. Applebaum, a former Warsaw correspondent for the Economist and a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, draws on newly accessible Soviet archives as well as scores of camp memoirs and interviews with survivors to trace the gulag's origins and expansion. By the gulag's peak years in the early 1950s, there were camps in every part of the country, and slave labor was used not only for mining and heavy industries but for producing every kind of consumer product (chairs, lamps, toys, those ubiquitous fur hats) and some of the country's most important science and engineering (Sergei Korolev, the architect of the Soviet space program, began his work in a special prison laboratory). Applebaum details camp life, including strategies for survival; the experiences of women and children in the camps; sexual relationships and marriages between prisoners; and rebellions, strikes and escapes. There is almost too much dark irony to bear in this tragic, gripping account. Applebaum's lucid prose and painstaking consideration of the competing theories about aspects of camp life and policy are always compelling. She includes an appendix in which she discusses the various ways of calculating how many died in the camps, and throughout the book she thoughtfully reflects on why the gulag does not loom as large in the Western imagination as, for instance, the Holocaust.
    Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
  5. Lucy Stag

    Lucy Stag Senior Member

    WHAT consumer goods?

    But wow. Just this blurb makes me want to read the book. I had no idea how vital the camps were to the Soviet economy. Disturbing.
  6. General Staff

    General Staff Junior Member

    'Man is Wolf to Man' is a good first-hand account by a Polish survivor. Eminently readable- worse, believable- not particularly academic concerning numbers and more a personal tale. You can reverse engineer the death toll to a degree.

    'As far as my feet will carry me' took this German POW a long long way. Some think it far fetched but I think it believable though he was plainly touched by his ordeal, and it's a wonder he made it.

    Both contain some gems of human kindness and hope amid a sea of complete and utter inhumanity.

    If things like this ever occur again in human history- and I think they will- they're far more likely IMO to happen against an ideologically impure background as opposed to the racial facets of the 'Holocaust', and it's probably better to study the Gulag system for its 'purity' as to future trends.

    Then again we have a terrible habit of surprising ourselves. God too I'm sure.
  7. Terang

    Terang Junior Member

    I did read Anne applebaum's book a few years ago which seems a good piece of work . With all the figures thrown about on how many souls perished in the gulag it seemed with the balance of probability that her information was pretty good .

    I have not seen any evidence to date that there was a penal colony on Wrangle Island where SS officers were taken after the war .

    How many soldiers and Civilians exactly disappeared into the soviet system post war , I suppose we will never really know ?
  8. Over Here

    Over Here Junior Member

    I remember reading something about a chap named Solzhenitsyn who wrote something on this too. The three volume set is about a foot thick. Anyone heard of it? :rolleyes:
  9. ozjohn39

    ozjohn39 Senior Member

    'The Gulag Archipelago'

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